You're in Las Vegas, and it's dinner time. Sure, there are hundreds of hotel restaurants you could try -- some of them even worth it -- but you are remembering a restaurant you saw on the Food Network. It was on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and it was about a Chinese place with a very spicy dish that Ming Tsai liked. Do you give up and hit the buffet? No, pull out your trusty phone app MapMuse or The Food Network On the Road.
There it is - Lotus of Siam on East Sahara Ave., and you are ordering the nam prik ong. Dinner saved. These apps are chock full of your favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel TV shows, and MapMuse even has shows from other networks, like No Reservations. Of course, there are good and bad things about each one, so I have both on my phone.
MapMuse has a very extensive interests list. This app will help you find places to live, go to school, worship, get a tattoo, find work, play and, of course, eat. This app is iPhone, iPod Touch and Android compatible. You can search by TV show name, city, chef name, cuisine type and cost. You can share your maps with friends on Twitter and Facebook and bookmark places to return later. If you want to add your favorite spot, MapMuse encourages you to add it to the map so the site gets even better. You can write reviews and upload pictures for all the places you visit. For each restaurant, you are given the name, address, website, phone number, hours of operation, type of cuisine, map, and driving directions. This app gives the user the most options for both food and non-food places. The down side -- you have to pay $1.99 for each TV show you are interested in.
The Food Network On the Road is exactly that - anything Food Network -- and it's free. Search by location, host, show or name of restaurant, if you remember. It is iPhone, iPad and iPod touch compatible. For each selection the app gives you the restaurant name, address, phone number, website and directions. It describes which show it was featured on, by which host and which dish was showcased. There is a section for reviews, but it is not up and running yet. You can create your own "road trips," recommend places to friends and save places you have visited or want to visit. This app was just released August 16, and The Food Network says they will be adding more content and opening up the review section very soon. The down side of this app is it is only limited to Food network shows.
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It is worth having both of these apps if you are a serious foodie, have lists of restaurants you have made to visit someday, have scraps of paper everywhere with names of dishes to eat and restaurants to find. For the traveler, they are very handy to help quickly find a great spot at the last minute when friends are asking you where to go.